PUEBLO, Colo., March 17, 2021 – Black Hills Energy announced today it has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement for 200-megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar energy to be constructed in Pueblo County as part of its Renewable Advantage plan to lower customer energy costs. Under the terms of the contract, the company will purchase all of the energy generated at the solar facility, which will be owned and operated by 174 Power Global, an independent renewable energy developer.
The utility-scale solar project represents Black Hills Energy’s preferred bid in a competitive solicitation process completed late last year through its Renewable Advantage plan. With the addition of 200-MW of solar energy on its system – enough clean energy to power about 46,000 homes annually – more than half of the Black Hills Energy generation mix in Colorado is forecasted to come from clean, renewable energy sources by 2023, leading to a 70% reduction in carbon emissions by 2024.
With the contract in place, construction of the solar facility is anticipated to begin in 2022 with the project coming online in 2023. 174 Power Global will lead the engagement and permitting process with local agencies, including Pueblo and Fremont Counties.
Anticipated benefits of the project include:
- $66 million in cost savings to Black Hills Energy’s electric customers over 15 years
- $178 million in direct and indirect economic benefits through state, local, and federal taxes
- Approximately 250 construction jobs, with the potential for up to 450 workers during certain phases of construction
- 51 percent renewable energy portfolio serving customers by 2023
- 70 percent reduction in carbon emissions across portfolio by 2024
“We are very pleased by the broad community support that is driving our Renewable Advantage plan forward,” said Vance Crocker, Black Hills Energy’s vice president for Colorado utilities. “With a project of this magnitude – the first and largest utility-scale solar project for Black Hills Energy – we will assure significant cost savings for our customers, while achieving long-lasting environmental benefits and economic vitality for our local and regional economies for years to come.”
“This is a substantial achievement,” said Henry Yun, PhD., president of 174 Power Global. “174 Power Global is grateful to have been selected by Black Hills Energy to develop this exciting project in Pueblo County.”
“We’re committed to working closely with Pueblo and Fremont County leadership, the communities, and stakeholder groups to collectively deliver this project,” continued Yun. “At every turn, our priority is to execute a well-designed and environmentally sensitive project, which realizes the benefits of a low-cost, reliable source of sustainable energy for the long-term future.”